ISBN 9781779224316
Pages 462
Dimensions 229x152 mm
Published 2023
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

An Outsider Within

A Memoir of love, of loss, of perseverance

by Mary Ndlovu

'In 1966, at the age of 23, I made a life-changing decision.' That decision, to travel from Canada to Zambia to work as a volunteer teacher, did indeed change Mary's life. During her years in Lusaka, she married Edward Ndlovu, an executive member of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union, who had escaped from Rhodesia in 1964. They married, started a family, and moved to the newly independent Zimbabwe in 1980

Over the next 36 years, before retiring to Canada, Mary's life was a blend of politics, teaching, human rights advocacy, and writing NGO histories. The book is particularly candid and insightful about issues of race and culture: raising children of mixed race in an historically segregated educational system; dealing with the responses of traditional medicine to the AIDS epidemic; learning to fit in with a large extended family.

Her experience as the widow of a National Hero, and her engagement with a range of civil society organisations, gave her an intimate proximity to political developments in the new Zimbabwe, and she writes of these with clarity, honesty and moral courage.

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About the Author

Mary Ndlovu

MARY NDLOVU was born and grew up in Canada, completing a first degree in history and languages at the University of Toronto and a second degree in history at Columbia University in New York. She went to a newly independent Zambia to work in 1966 and has spent most of her life since then in Zambia and Zimbabwe. After a career in secondary school teaching and teacher education in Lusaka and Bulawayo, she worked for ten years for a Zimbabwean NGO until her retirement in 2003. Since then she has worked as a consultant, interacting with many NGOs and civil society organisations, and served on the boards of several, including Zimbabwe Project Trust. She was married to the late politician Edward Ndlovu and has three children and five grandchildren.